Ways To Keep Elderly People Social

January 16, 2023

Keeping an elderly grandparent or parent social and active is very important as they age. Staying socially active helps the brain to stay active, as well as it will help your loved one to stay away from feelings of loneliness and feeling isolated, which is very common for the elderly. It is so painful to watch a loved one become lonely, especially when you may not be able to be there with them often due to work. Here are some ideas that you could use to help your elderly loved one to stay social, even when you are not there: 

  1. Encourage regular visits and phone calls with friends and family. If no one seems to be calling your loved one, encourage your other family members to take the time to do so. Sometimes we get so busy that we just need extra reminders. 
  1. Organize or participate in social activities and events, such as book clubs or game nights. If your loved one lives in an assisted living facility such as Idaho Falls assisted living, there are always fun events going on that are already planned. Encourage your loved one to attend these activities. If they live alone, you can start a group for your parents. It may take some time to get it set up and getting people to attend, but it will be very beneficial to many. 
  1. Encourage them to take classes or join clubs that align with their interests. The local city rec center should have many planned activities going on for families. Take your family and bring your elderly loved one along with you. 
  1. Help connect them with community resources, such as senior centers or volunteer opportunities. The community center should have a list of great opportunities to volunteer at. Try finding something that may interest your loved one such as knitting scarves or blankets for local shelters. Being able to do a service for someone else brings much fulfillment and satisfaction. 
  1. Encourage them to pursue hobbies or interests they enjoy. I’m sure that the elderly you know used to have olde hobbies that they once loved, but no longer pursue. If they need encouragement to start up again, try taking them to a hobby store or help them purchase the items they need for the hobby. 
  1. Use technology such as video conferencing to connect them with loved ones and friends who live far away. The best way to make sure this happens often is to set a scheduled time every week. Maybe Sunday afternoons will be a family conference call that always happens at noon, every single week. Setting a set schedule will help make sure that this important time does not get overlooked. 
  1. Help them to find local or online social groups that share similar interests or experiences. Many elderly seem to despise technology because it is confusing, but if you teach them how to use it, they may find an online group that they fit in with. 
  1. Provide transportation or arrange for transportation to social events and activities. If your loved one lives in an elderly home, oftentimes these homes provide busing services. Find a calendar of the bus schedule and help them to see it so that they can go when they would like to, without getting confused. This will help them to feel more independent. 
  1. Encourage them to stay active and engage in physical activity, such as walking or swimming. Community pools are great for elderly to get together for water aerobics. Check with the city and see if something like this is already set up in your town. Sometimes the city puts on their own scheduled water aerobics classes for the elderly. 
  1. Create opportunities for multigenerational activities, such as involving them in family events or volunteering with youth groups. Never forget to invite them along with you, wherever you go!
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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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